Definition of dowager in English:


Syllabification: dow·a·ger
Pronunciation: /ˈdouəjər


1A widow with a title or property derived from her late husband: [as modifier]: the dowager duchess [postpositive]: the queen dowager
More example sentences
  • By the time she married Prince Albert I of Monaco in 1889, she was a wealthy woman in her own right who carried an important French title as the dowager duchess of Richelieu.
  • In the front pew were the dowager duchess, the eighth Duke of Rivenston, the Duke of Stafford and the Lady Lorraine.
  • It was just one of the highly-prized pins doled out that night to travellers who - against the welter of new, sleek cruisers - remain loyal to Cunard's unpretentious ship: more a dowager duchess than a sea sprite.
1.1 informal A dignified elderly woman.
More example sentences
  • But even this global giant has to listen up, at the annual stakeholders’ meeting, to elderly dowagers complaining that the new parking bollards installed by the consortium clash horribly with their bourgainvillea.
  • Lady Gwyneth grinned, looking for all the world like an excited child unleashed without adult supervision in a toy shop, instead of a dignified dowager of the ton with three grown-up grandchildren.
  • She whispered in the dowager's ear and went off to find the ladies withdrawing room.


mid 16th century: from Old French douagiere, from douage 'dower', from douer 'endow', from Latin dotare 'endow' (see dower).

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